The small cryonics industry provides a method of low-temperature storage after death, with the aim of preserving the fine structure in brain tissue that stores the data of the mind. Cryopreserved people can wait out the development of sufficiently advanced applications of molecular nanotechnology that are capable of restoring them to active life. Over the decades since the first cryonics providers were established the industry has not grown greatly, but it is nonetheless the only option other than the grave available to the billions who will die prior to the advent of biotechnologies to reverse aging.
In a better world, cryonics providers would be as commonplace as funeral homes and near everyone would be preserved. But there are only a small number of active organizations: a couple in the US, a more recently launched project in Russia, and a few others in various stages of early development.
At present it looks like an initiative to launch a cryonics provider in Australia is nearing fruition. Here is a recent article on this effort:
Milton first heard about cryonics as a kid, through reading science fiction, but only became seriously interested four years ago, while researching life-extension techniques. One night he attended a meeting of the Cryonics Association of Australasia (CAA) in a cafe in the city, where he met Peter Tsolakides, a retired manager for ExxonMobil, the oil company. At the meeting, both men were disappointed to discover that there was no cryonics facility in Australia. If you wanted to get frozen, you had to go to the USA. This is not impossible - the Cryonics Institute, in Michigan, has six Australians in cryopreservation, and the Alcor Life Extension Foundation, in Arizona, has two - but it is certainly inconvenient. You either had to be aware you were on the way out and get on a plane, quickly, or wait till you had de-animated and have someone, usually an obliging member from CAA, pack you in ice and mail you over. Either way, it was a logistical nightmare, and so Milton and Tsolakides decided to start a local operation.
That was in 2009. Since then, Stasis has recruited 11 investors, each of whom has agreed to put in $50,000. This money will fund the construction of the facility, which should be complete by 2014, and pay for the investors' cryonic suspension, when the time comes. Milton, who works from home, spends his time liaising with NSW Health, which has been "very supportive", and, more recently, scouting for suitable land sites. "We are currently looking for a couple of acres in regional NSW - Yass, Wagga Wagga, Goulburn ... It has to be a low-risk area for natural disasters, like bushfires, earth tremors or flooding, and it needs to be somewhere with reliable power, sealed access and liquid nitrogen delivery routes, because liquid nitrogen is essential."